Teaching and Learning

Bridge to College Courses

About Bridge to College Courses

The Bridge to College courses for English language arts (ELA) and Mathematics are fourth-year (senior-level) courses designed for students scoring a Level 2 on the Smarter Balanced high school assessment (10th grade). Students who earn a “B” or better in the Bridge Course are eligible to enter credit-bearing coursework in any of the State of Washington Community and Technical Colleges.

The courses are grounded in essential career and college readiness expectations as reflected in the Washington State K-12 Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics (the Common Core State Standards) to ensure that students passing the course are fully prepared for college-level coursework. The courses were developed by higher education faculty, high school teachers, and curriculum specialists from multiple colleges and school districts.

Schools commit to using the specified course with title and course code provided by OSPI for the courses being taught. The Bridge course code for ELA is WA0001. The Bridge course code for mathematics is WA0003.

Why Bridge Courses?

“The thinking process in this class helps you think in a way that will be valuable to you as you pursue further education. The class really allows students to engage in the material they wouldn’t be able to in a more traditional setting.”
Carolyn—Math Teacher

“The course gives students a lot of the writing, critical thinking, and analysis that they’ll use with any program they go into. It’s a rigorous course that gives students what they need to be successful in all other post high school endeavors.”
Michele—English Teacher

  • Increase student engagement in mathematics and ELA.
  • Prepare students with relevant college-level curriculum, bypassing the need for remedial coursework and placement tests.
  • Deepen student understanding of crucial knowledge and skills needed to be successful in college.
  • The BERC Impact Report is showing that research on Bridge to College courses have a positive impact on student success in college courses.

Washington State Bridge to College Course Implementation

In 2017-18, 247 teachers in 138 high schools across Washington State taught the Bridge to College course, with roughly 6000 students using the course to prepare for college success.

OSPI, in partnership with State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) with funding from College Spark Washington, supports implementation of the Bridge to College Mathematics and English courses through a formal structure of professional learning and networking. All new teachers participate in a two-day summer workshop and two additional days during the school year in order to be eligible to teach the course. In addition, all Bridge to College teachers have opportunities to collaborate and learn together in "Communities of Practice", which meet regionally 3 times during the course of the school year.

Bridge to College English and Math Course registration for the 2018-19 school year is now closed. All new and returning schools intending to offer Bridge to College courses in 2018-19 need to be registered.

For more information about the Bridge to College Initiative and courses:
English Course Information, 2018-19
Mathematics Course Information, 2018-19 | Mathematics Course Materials

The District and School Assurances provide information about the funding for the course, as well as the required commitments from both the school and the district.

Higher Education Placement Agreements
WA Community and Technical Colleges
WA Baccalaureate Institutions

Resources that provide more information about course implementation:


What's New!

Recorded Webinar: BERC Report on the impact of Bridge to College Courses

2018-19 Information Webinar Slides

2019-20 Planning

Registration for 2019-20 is now available in iGrant form 719

Schools interested in adding Bridge to College English or Math for the 2019-20 school year, please contact us for information.

Schools currently offering Bridge to College Courses, register using iGrants form 719. Please register returning teachers as well as new ones.

For information on Bridge to College courses as assessment graduation alternatives, please see this FAQ. You may also access our Assessment page on LAA LDC. It is important to note that Bridge to College ELA and Math are not remedial in nature. Read more about the profile student in the course information documents linked on this page.

Summer Institute Registration

If you are new to teaching Bridge to College, please register for the free-but-required Summer Institute in Wenatchee Aug 6 and 7 using this link:

Summer Institute Registration

The Bridge to College ELA & Math Summer Institute is designed to provide teachers who will be teaching a Bridge course during the 2019-20 school year with the curriculum, tools and networks needed for full course implementation.

If you are a returning Bridge to College teacher, please use this same link to register and join us on Aug 7 for a one-day event designed to showcase Best Practices and focus on curriculum updates. Attending this free, one-day event is a great way to maintain your eligibility to teach this course.

There is no fee for participation in the Summer Institute but registrations must be received by July 14.

Sally Zeiger Hanson, Project Manager

Molly Berger, OSPI ELA Specialist

Arlene Crum, OSPI Director of Mathematics

College Readiness Resources

Bridge to College Initiative Website

  • For Students, Parents/Guardians
  • Student and Teacher Videos
  • Why Take the Bridge to College Course?

Questions and Answers

   Updated 3/22/2019

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